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Posted On: 18 December 2008 02:55 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Borderlines: Qatar and Saudi agree

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Qatar and Saudi Arabia have finalised the demarcation of their borders and agreed to enhance cooperation between the once-estranged Gulf Arab countries, Saudi state media reported. The two US-allied nations signed agreements to foster cooperation on political, military and security issues, as well as business, economy, and media, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said late on Tuesday. The agreements were signed after the maiden meeting on Tuesday of a joint Coordination Council, chaired by Qatar’s Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, SPA said. In March, Saudi Arabia restored full diplomatic ties with Qatar after a five-year hiatus. Riyadh withdrew its ambassador in 2002 to protest against the coverage by Qatar-funded news broadcaster Al Jazeera of the kingdom. Saudi Arabia was also reacting to Qatar’s decisions to establish ties with Israel and offer the United States military facilities that were later used to launch the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “Media have to report a clear image on the good relations between the two countries... The media’s duty is to be realistic and logical,” SPA quoted the Qatari Heir Apparent as saying after the meeting. A senior Arab diplomat said Saudi Arabia appeared to be looking to restore part of its regional role captured by Qatar, which has hosted talks between Lebanese and Palestinian rivals to contain internal tensions. “Saudi Arabia hopes it will at least be consulted on Qatar’s diplomacy which has grown in prominence over the past two years, especially on the Lebanese and the Palestinian issues,” the diplomat said. Qatar was instrumental in brokering an agreement in May that helped to end a political deadlock in Lebanon over the nomination of a new president. Saudi Arabia allowed Al Jazeera to cover the Haj pilgrimage this year but the channel is still awaiting approval to re-open its office in the kingdom.